Examining the Stigmatization of Feminists in a Lab and Field Setting
Submission to the Friends of Fondren Library Graduate Research Awards, 2017. This paper was originally prepared for Course PSYC 573 (Fall 2016): Non-thesis graduate credit hours, given by Professor Eduardo Salas, Department of Psychology.
Feminism has served as a catalyst that has allowed women to gain many essential rights. However, there is evidence indicating that individuals appearing to identify as feminists may be stigmatized (Anastosopoulos & Desmarais, 2015). Consequently, we suggest that the distinction between formal and interpersonal discrimination is especially salient to self-identified feminists as negative stereotypes of groups are often associated with different forms of discrimination (Hebl et al., 2002). The present studies aim to bridge the research on discrimination and the stigmatization of feminists by examining the prevalence of interpersonal discrimination against self-identified feminists in both a lab and field setting. Specifically, the following groups will be tested for prevalence of interpersonal discrimination: self-identified feminists, individuals who appear to advocate for equal gender rights for men and women, and individuals with no apparent affiliation (i.e., control condition). Feminism may evoke perceptions of solely advocating for female’s rights; consequently, if feminism is presented as gender egalitarianism, such that it places an equal emphasis on men and women’s rights, it may result in less interpersonal discrimination. This effort will contribute to the extant literature as no study, to the author’s knowledge, has been conducted to examine interpersonal discrimination against feminists in a field setting.